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I grew up in a house with six brothers in San Jose, California. I'm the middle child of seven boys. As you might imagine, it was a noisy house. I spent a lot of time playing games, having sock fights, building forts, playing ball, avoiding chores, and watching the The Three Stooges whenever I got the chance. I enjoyed drawing pictures, reading books and magazines about making monster movies, and learning about magic tricks and magicians. I also read comic books, mostly Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Batman.

In high school, I did just about everything except my homework. I played football for four years, performed in school plays, participated in the speech and debate club, drew cartoons for the school paper and yearbook, and worked hard on earning the title of class clown.

In college, I spent two years as a Theater Arts major studying acting before I switched to English in my junior year after I went crazy for books. While in college, I did stand-up comedy and drew cartoons for my college's daily newspaper—which helped fund my love of pizza! I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

After college, my creativity and drawing skills came in handy working in advertising as a copywriter and later as a creative director. I started my own advertising agency with my wife, Christine, and we have done that since 1994.

We have three children (two girls and a boy), a tortoise named Shelly, and a dog named Luna . . . and sometimes we have fish—but they can be tricky!

In my spare time I like to go to the movies, draw, lift weights, learn new words, hang out in bookstores, watch Sherlock Holmes movies, and read books and newspapers.

I started writing children's books when I was 36 years old and sold my first book three years later. I now spend my days writing, drawing, and driving my kids all over the place. We live in Northern California.